On Feb. 24, hundreds of hikers will hit the trails on the Tortolita and Catalina mountain ranges to conquer the seventh annual MOVE Across 2 Ranges—a hiking experience that offers challenges from six to 21 miles, beginning at the Wild Burro Trailhead in Marana and ending at Catalina State Park.
So, how is the MOVE Across any different from your standard Saturday out on the trails? This partnership between the Town of Oro Valley and the Town of Marana was created to not only challenge hikers, but to provide participants with a special, day-long, regional experience. The festivities begin the night before the hike, so there is a full 24 hours of fun planned!
Along with the collaboration between Oro Valley and Marana, this event is also done in partnership with Summit Hut, a locally owned and operated retailer specializing in hiking, camping and travel gear. Not only do they provide thousands of dollars in raffle prizes to MOVE Across participants, but they also host the Packet Pickup Party the night before (Feb. 23) at their location in Oro Valley (7745 N. Oracle Road). This gives hikers an opportunity to pick up event materials, grab any last-minute equipment from Summit Hut, check out the course maps, ask questions about the trails and have some complimentary snacks, beer or refreshments. The Packet Pickup Party is also a great opportunity to meet fellow MOVE warriors, and talk strategy for the big day. Don’t worry: the party will wrap up by 8 p.m. and you’ll be tucked away, dreaming of the trails by 9 p.m.
On the morning of Feb. 24, the hiking start times are staggered based on the length of your hike. The event is broken down into four challenges: The Massive (21 miles), The Mega (15 miles), The Major (10 miles) and the Mighty (6 miles). As I mentioned before, the challenge will begin at Wild Burro Trailhead (14810 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ 85658) with the hiking start times at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 9 a.m., respectively. The trails at Wild Burro are challenging yet stunning, with elevation gains up to 1,500 feet and views that make those difficult climbs well worth it in the end.
Once participants have completed the Tortolita portion of the challenge, they will then drive to Catalina State Park (entry fee included in the MOVE registration fee). The Catalinas offer a different hiking experience with less elevation gain (up to 600 feet), but beautiful trails and picturesque landscape. Since we do live in the desert, and it does warm up on the second leg of the challenge, we do our best to keep the mileage low at Catalina State Park. Both locations will be well marked with signage, staffed with volunteers and will have water stations throughout.
To celebrate the completion of the event and all the miles you’ve hiked, we provide participants with an after party immediately following the hike in Catalina State Park. Enjoy music, raffle prizes, games, yoga, food, beer and refreshments. Each participant will get a food and drink ticket with their packet (included in registration), and we will have Angela’s Mexican Food on site to fill your bellies. Dragoon Brewing Company will be providing beer for those ages 21 and older.
The MOVE Across 2 Ranges is a truly unique and special experience that brings the communities of Oro Valley and Marana together to enjoy these two beautiful mountain ranges that surround us. Registration is $30 in advance; $35 on event day. For more information and to join the challenge, visit move2ranges.com online.
Nick Scala is the Town of Oro Valley Assistant Recreation Manager.